'We're on a collision course for a national crisis'

Volunteers who help those in need of an emergency supply of food have said they are seeing less donations and more clients, and are on a “collision course for a national crisis”.

Isabel Forrester of Horncastle Community Larder.
Isabel Forrester of Horncastle Community Larder.

Horncastle’s Community Food Larder has seen a marked drop in the number of donations of food they are being given, as well as a rise in referrals, as the cost of living crisis is affecting everyone.

Spokesman Isabel Forrester explained: “People who would come and give to us before can’t any more and people who are in need, are needing more.

“The cost of living crisis is hitting everyone and we’re noticing significantly fewer donations than after Christmas and more people are now coming in because people are struggling to balance the books.

"We’re on a collision course for a national crisis.”

Even in these hot summer months, Isabel said people are still having to choose whether they buy food or fuel or pay their bills.

Isabel said: “Usually in the summer we see less people because people don’t eat as much food when it’s hot, and are obviously paying less for heating.

"This time of normally we can normally regroup after the big winter rush, but there’s been no let up at all this year.”

Isabel said that many of the people who are coming forward who didn’t before have jobs, but with the rise of the cost of living, are struggling to make ends meet.

"Covid is also hitting a lot of people,” she added, “Lots more people are getting Covid again, and if they have to isolate but are self-employed and there’s no-one to cover them, how do they cope?”

But despite the Larder’s increasingly empty shelves, Isabel wants people to know that people can still come to them if they are in need:

"We don’t want people to feel that they can’t come to us if they’re struggling, “Isabel said, “If you are in need, please come to us.”

The Larder is currently in need of tinned meat, fruit and vegetables, as well as toiletries including toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel, washing up liquid, washing powder.

Drop-off points for donations are at at Tesco’s in Horncastle, the Co-op on Conging Street, Lincolnshire Co-op on the High Street or at St Mary’s Church – as well as The Original Factory Shop.